Is Radical Orthodoxy Like Jumbo ShrimpPresentation Transcript
Is “Radical Orthodoxy” Like “Jumbo Shrimp”? An Introduction The Promise and Perils of Post-Secular Theology
A Little Background
My introduction to Postmodernity
How Radical is Radical Orthodoxy?
How Orthodox is Radical Orthodoxy?
Is the emphasis on Radical or Orthodoxy ?
What are the promises and the perils of Radical Orthodoxy?
Radical Orthodox Theologians
John Milbank: Theology and Social Theory
James K. A. Smith
What is it?
I. Radically Post-Modern “ Weird for the sake of Weird”
Pre-Modernity Reason Revelation
Modernity Reason Phenomena Noumena
The Wrong Turn of Modernity
Quest for Rational Certainty
Loss of participatory ontology
Loss of the historical (time)
Loss of the catholic (universal)
Fragmentation of society
Breakdown of communication
Loss of wonder and beauty
Rejection of dogmatic/confessional theology
Results in a “Religion Without Religion” (Derrida)
Postmodernism: “incredulity towards
There is Nothing Outside the Text!
Power is Knowledge
The Primary Culprits: The Rejection of Revelation and the Loss of Participatory Ontology
Duns Scotus’ Knowledge by Abstraction versus Augustine’s Knowledge by Illumination
Example of the End of Modernity: Pruitt-Igoe Housing Demolition
II. Brazenly Theological
Post-Secular: All theory (social, political, economic, philosophical) is confessional/theological
“ All thought which brackets out God is ultimately nihilistic”
Christian theology returns to being the queen of the disciplines
Theology must be non-accommodationist
Christian theology now offers a discourse able to position and overcome nihilism itself. This is why it is so important to reassert theology as a master discourse; theology, alone, remains the discourse of non-mastery.
— John Milbank
III. Rigorously Confessional
A new ad fontes: Ressourcement
“ Abandoning all scholastic attempts to graft faith onto a universal base of reason [Radical Orthodoxy] instead turns to the church Fathers.”
IV. Aggressively Social
“ Not simply returning in nostalgia to the premodern, it visits sites in which secularism has invested heavily — aesthetics, politics, sex, the body, personhood, visibility, space — and resituates them from a Christian standpoint; that is, in terms of the Trinity, Christology, the Church and the Eucharist.” — Radical Orthodoxy
The Church as Polis
Augustine’s City of God
The church is the only
authentic polis, because
it eschews individualism
“ The church IS a social ethic”
The Promise of Radical Orthodoxy
Returns theology to public discourse
Points out the “confessional” nature of secularism
Challenges faith/reason dichotomy
Challenges sacred/secular dualism
Emphasizes the role of the church in the world
Attempts a rigorous confessional Christianity within a pluralist, post-secular context
The Perils of Radical Orthodoxy
Limits potential for interdisciplinary dialogue(?)
Lacks clear criterion for Ressourcement ? (which theologian? Which tradition?)
Undermines the constructive promise of contextual theology (voices from the margins)
Is it desconstructive enough? Is it reconstructive enough?
Metaphysics potentially over-rides biblical and systematic theology